No. 10

10. "Red Dead Redemption" (2010, Rockstar Games, for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360)

I suspect "Red Dead Redemption" will be left in the dust by most best-of-the-decade lists for two reasons: It was released in early 2010, the very beginning of the window of consideration, and it was followed in 2018 by a sequel many believe the superior work of worldbuilding and storytelling in the American west. And in those regards, the sequel is superior. But the first "Red Dead Redemption" wins out for one simple reason: It's just more fun to play. The boots of John Marston don't always feel like they're stuck in the mud. Skinning animals doesn't take 10 arduous seconds. And the sequel, by its nature, couldn't replicate the exhilarating novelty of exploring Marston's vast early 20th century frontier, an adventure that reached its artistic climax in one of the best video game music moments of the decade.

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